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Choosing a Diver’s Watch

Although stainless steel dive watches have remained industry staples since at least the early ‘60s, the popularity of two-tone steel and gold divers has proven far more cyclic. The unique blend of flash and function that two-tone brings has come back into vogue over the past several years, and Glashütte Original has already brought the look to its larger, uniquely Germanic SeaQ Panorama Date line. For 2021, the brand expands its steel and gold stable to include the smaller base model SeaQ diver, pairing the look with a deep sunburst-blue dial colorway. The new two-tone Glashütte Original SeaQ offers an intriguingly luxe take on the brand’s intricately detailed diver form, with a nuanced approach to its use of gold elements.

Measuring in at 39.5mm, the case of the new two-tone Glashütte Original SeaQ should feel compact and appropriately vintage-inflected on the wrist. The overall case design is simple and skin diver-esque, with a hefty unguarded screw-down pillbox crown and short, squared-off lugs. As with previous models in the SeaQ line, this one sets itself apart from the pack in the delicacy of its execution. The flowing narrow polished chamfer running the length of the case, the gentle downward curve of the lugs, and the interplay between vertically and radially brushed surfaces are all exemplary in initial images, elevating this elemental form with technique rather than out-and-out pageantry.

The Glashütte Original SeaQ line traces its stylistic roots back to 1969 and the brand’s first-ever dive watch, the Spezimatic Typ RP TS 200. At the time, the brand’s home city of Glashütte was part of Soviet-aligned East Germany, and the resulting Eastern Bloc aesthetic influences helped to forge the dial of the original Spezimatic as something unique, but not wholly alien to that era’s diver design trends in Switzerland. Of course, both the company and the city of Glashütte are far different today than in 1969, but the new SeaQ still carries some of that quirky East German DNA in its dial. The split between applied baton indices and bold Arabic numerals, the graphic outer minutes scale, and the trademark sword hours and arrow minutes handset all add up to create something clearly distinct from the classic diver formula, but eminently functional, legible, and handsome.

Like the case, however, where this dial really shines in images is in the fine nuances of its execution. The deep oceanic blue sunburst dial surface is gently domed, creating a sense of visual depth as well as a touch of old-school visual distortion.

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